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Are Print Magazines Less Important to Engineers?

The magazine industry is undergoing a transformation. How does this affect engineers?

It is clear that the way we consume information has dramatically changed. To be more specific, the magazine industry has been—and is being—significantly impacted by the internet coupled with social media. Proving this point, Time Inc. recently announced it will reduce the print issue frequency of prominent magazines, such as Sports Illustrated and Fortune. The moves were made “amid slumping financial fortunes across the print media industry as readers increasingly follow favorite magazines, newspapers, and other publications online.” (The legendary print media company also was recently acquired by Meredith, pointing to more consolidation in the industry.)

Furthermore, the internet enables people to view video content, which can be very beneficial. It also allows people to consume content at any time instead of having to wait for a magazine to arrive in the mail. So with all of this being said, do print magazines still have a significant role in the RF/microwave engineering community? Do engineers still need them? Or can they just find everything online?

Surely, different people have different opinions when it comes to the usefulness of print magazines. I personally believe that they still have something to offer engineers. I know that if I see an article online that I want to read and then keep as a reference, chances are that I will actually print a hard copy. That means that I am essentially still reading something in “print.”

The point mentioned is the root of why I think print magazines still have value for engineers. In other words, a very short article or news piece can be quickly read online—even on a smartphone. However, if one sees a longer technical article online and wants to read it and possibly use it as a reference, there is a good chance that person is going to want to have that article in paper to hold in his or her hands. An actual magazine allows one to have a number of technical articles in paper all at once.

So while it is true that print is declining in general, I still think it is beneficial to the RF/microwave engineering community. Hopefully you agree as well. Let us know your thoughts.

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